Charlotte and Dominic’s Country Chic Wedding

February 1, 2012 at 6:18 pm | No comments | Real Weddings

Charlotte and Dominic first met at university over 8 years ago in Nottingham. “We knew each other through friends but it took a drunken night out for us to seal the deal!” When Dominic proposed, they were both on holiday with friends in Turkey when he suggested they both have an evening to themselves. Surrounded by hundreds of lanterns lit around the waters of the restaurant on the harbour, Dominic proposed to Charlotte there an then. “I had absolutely no idea Dom was going to propose so it came as a great surprise! After a few tears (on both our parts!) we cracked open a bottle of bubbly and celebrated in style!!” Charlotte shares her experience planning their wedding with beautiful photography courtesy of Stephen Swain

What was your wedding vision and did you have a specific theme?

We wanted the day to have a really romantic feel and atmosphere. Dom and I aren’t particularly traditional people so we wanted quite a relaxed/country style wedding whilst still maintaining a very chic look to the day.

Wedding at Preston Barn

What was the first thing you booked?

Our first port of call was the Church. We booked Lavenham Church in Suffolk a few days after we returned from our holiday!

Wedding At Lavenham Church

What was the easiest thing to source?

The photographer. My Sister and our best friend’s had both had Stephen Swain as their wedding photographer and I loved his pictures so a quick email to Stephen was all it took to get him booked, we didn’t even consider anybody else!

Did you get any bargain deals?

My dress, the cake, the wine and our invitations!! I am lucky enough to have a very talented lady in my family who made both my dress and the bridesmaid’s dresses. As my present, Ros made my dress; the only thing I paid for was the material which came to £300!! My Godmother makes wedding cakes so she made us our cake as our wedding present. Dom’s Dad owns and runs a restaurant so we got our red/white and rose wine at a snip of the price. We paid circa £5 a bottle for wine that retails at about £15 – it was very drinkable to say the least!

Bridesmaids in Fuschia Pink at Preston Barn Wedding

We also made all of our Invitations/Order of Service/Menu’s/Place Names. Dom’s Dad is an architect and a great artist. We gave him a picture of a bunch of roses and asked him to draw it for us. We then used the image on all of our stationery. We then just had to purchase the card/envelopes and some fuchsia pink ribbon to finish them off.

Fuschia Pink Order of Service at Preston Barn Wedding

Morning Suit With Fuschia Pink Cravat at Preston Barn Wedding

What was the most expensive item that you didn’t expect to cost so much?

The flowers. We wanted to really make a statement with the flowers and have lots in the barn. When we got our initial quote back we realised that we’d gone roughly £1000 over budget. The lady that did our flowers was so accommodating and helped us cut down the cost to something more reasonable and in line with our expectations.

Candelabra with Pink Flowers at Preston Barn Wedding

What was the biggest splurge?

Again, this was the flowers. Although we cut down the cost we still spent a lot on the flowers for the day and I’m so glad we did! As our centrepieces we chose candelabra’s which all had to be hired. These cost around £35 each but were well worth it – the candle light in the barn looked stunning! The barn looked and smelt absolutely lovely – one guest commented that she felt like she was in France! It was so pretty and I was chuffed to bits that the flowers had been a real extravagance for us!

What did you do for the flowers & decorations ?

We had pink, cream and green flowers. Pink is, and always has been my favourite colour! We had all different shades of pink flowers mixed in with the creams and greens. The flowers were a real statement and for me, really made the day.

Flowers filled a Wheelbarrow at Barn Wedding with a Country Chic Feel

How did your family and friends help?

Dom took charge of the Bridal party suits, ties, the car and drinks. My Dad helped us so much with all of the stationery and Mum spent hours tying the ribbons for the Invitations/Orders of Service. In our invitations we included details of our wedding gift. Given that Dom and I have lived together for 5 years we didn’t really think a list would be appropriate so instead we asked for contributions to our honeymoon. Rather than just ask for the money, we asked my Sister to write us a poem which we then included in the invitations. Victoria is a lyrical genius and the poem was fab! On the day, we also asked my Sister and a good friend Lindsey to sing during the Church service – they were great and really added a special something to the day.

How did you go about selecting your wedding venue?:

I grew up in Lavenham and love the village so the Church was the perfect choice for our Wedding ceremony. The Church itself is really grand and huge – a pretty grand start to our day! The barn at Preston is so pretty and really romantic. It also provided the perfect blank canvas for us to create the perfect atmosphere.

Wedding at Preston Barn, Hot pinks and soft pinks bouquet

What did you wear?

My dress was made by Ros Thomas of Ros Thomas Designs. The dress was duchess satin silk and the style was completely contrary to the rest of the wedding. It was pretty modern and stylish. I tried on lots of different styles but many of them looked too old for me. This was young, fresh and really “me”! I absolutely loved wearing it!

Charlotte and Dominic at Preston Barn Wedding - Romantic Chic Countryside

And your accessories?

I wore a floor length veil, with a shorter part that went over my face for Church. My shoes were from Monsoon and I loved them. I’ve since dyed them black and have worn them loads! I wore quite chunky jewellery because it suited the style of the dress. I wore two silver bangles (one of which was my nanny’s, and another couple of bracelets on my other wrist – one of which Dom bought me as a present that I opened the night before the wedding, and the other my Mum and Dad bought me. I also wore a pair of killer silver sparkly studs that my Sis bought me as a gift. I don’t usually wear earrings but absolutely loved these and am so glad I wore them on the day!

Your Hair & Makeup?

My hair was completed by a local hairdresser called Dave. We’ve known Dave for years and he’s brilliant at putting hair up so Dave did my hair, as well as the 5 bridesmaids and Mum’s…..Dad did his own!!

A lady called Millie Rose did all of our make-up and did an amazing job…she did my make-up exactly as I’d liked – I felt like a 1950’s Hollywood starlet!

Wedding at Preston Barn with Fuschia Pink Bridesmaids

The Cake?

We chose a 3 tier cake – one fruit, one sponge and one carrot cake. This was then iced and we had the same fresh flowers as we used in the barn etc to fill in between the tiers, I loved the cake – it was really pretty and stylish! The cake was made by Tina Dye – she did such a fab job, such a tasty cake!

Wedding at Presto Barn Cutting of Cake


Can you give an idea of your overall budget? Was it ever changing?


We started with a budget of £25k, which by the end had stretched to £30k – it was worth every penny! 

Can you give BBN Brides any practical advice from your experience?

I really wanted to enjoy planning our wedding and didn’t want it to be a stress/hassle. As soon as Dom and I got engaged we started the planning. We had about 15 months before the big day but rather than leave things we cracked on straight away getting all of the big things booked. I also don’t like to dilly dally with decisions. I think you could drive yourself mad if you don’t make decisions fairly quickly, there are so many choices with a wedding but we stuck to our guns and if we liked something we went for it!

I also think it’s so important to relax and enjoy the day. I can genuinely say, our wedding day was the best day of my life, I loved every minute of it and felt totally relaxed, if something goes wrong on the day there’s nothing you can do about it so just lap it all up, it’s over way too quickly!

Anything you would do differently?

We only had our photographer until 8pm; I wish we had asked him to stay for the whole evening so we could have got some great snaps of everybody on the Dancefloor! Aside from that, I wouldn’t have changed anything, it was absolutely brilliant, just the way it was!

Wedding at Preston Barn Soft Lighting


Image Credits

Picture 343 Wedding At Preston Barn Priory Wedding At Lavenham Church Wedding at Preston Barn Fuschia Pink Order of Service Bridesmaids in Fuschia Pink Morning Suit With Fuschia Pink Cravat Bridesmaids in Fuschia Pink Candelabra at Preston Barn Wedding Flowers filled a Wheelbarrow at Barn Wedding Charlotte and Dominic at Preston Barn Wedding Wedding at Presto Barn Wedding at Preston Barn Wedding at Preston Barn Wedding at Preston Barn